Any nutritionalist, or anyone who knows anything about health and fitness for that matter, will tell you about the importance of protein in your diet. Without proteins in your diet any weight loss efforts are not going to be sustainable in the long run, because food rich in protein is more filling and is real food in contrast with carb rich foods that are often empty calories. Even vegetarians need to work protein into their daily diet through dairy products, dry fruits and nuts, lentils and pulses, or failing any natural protein sources - through protein supplements.
There is a reason why protein is called the building block of life. Any protein you consume will go immediately towards the repair or building of cells and muscle. At a minimum you need .5 grams of protein per pound of lean mass/per day on average to maintain your 'structure'. If you are moderately active you need .7 or .8, and if you are an active athlete you need as much as 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass. That’s at a daily average.
So a 70kg moderately active woman who has 25% body fat (and thus) has 53 kgs of lean body mass needs 93 grams of protein on average per day (116 lbs x .8). If she gets 60 or 80 some days and 110 on others, she’ll still be in a healthy average range. At 4 calories per gram, that’s between 320 and 440 calories per day in protein, which is not too much.
Lean body mass is the key to life and the way to achieve it is through what you eat as this makes up to 80% of your composition. Eating proteins and healthy fats and cutting down on simple carbohydrates is the best way to build lean muscle mass.
Lean body mass is directly related to excellent health. Rather than striving to ‘lose weight’ most people would be better off striving to lose only fat and build or maintain muscle mass.
Maintaining or gaining lean muscle mass boosts metabolism and burns fat even on days and weeks when you are not inclined to work out if you eat right the rest of the time. Getting your calories from protein rich foods keeps hunger at bay as this food keeps you full longer.
Of course eating food rich in protein should be coupled with workouts that also build lean muscle mass like functional body weight exercises, yoga and sprints.
And for the women out there, this includes all of you too. Include protein in your diet and watch those extra kilos melt and stay away.